Coinstar

By H. Grousbeck, Timothy Groseclose, Alicia Seiger
2005 | Case No. E180
The case details the rise of Coinstar networks from a 5 store pilot program to a national phenomenon that changed the way the Fed recycles coins. The case tracks Coinstar’s founder, Jens Molbak, as he makes difficult decisions having to do with raising money (taking on large amounts of debt before an IPO in 1996), managing relations with the Federal Reserve and the US Mint, whose long standing procedures are disrupted by Coinstar’s activities, averting a crisis while rolling out its Coins that Count program with a national partner, UNICEF, and navigating a damaging attack from X news corporation about the company’s machines short changing consumers.
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